Atelier Wen Odyssey Watch Review

When I first touched Atelier Wen’s debut watch, I was immediately struck by how different it feels from the typical western-styled watches we all know and love. I don’t see how anybody could mistake it for something produced in the West. In both looks and feel, it’s unabashedly Chinese, but drawing upon a Western framework.

atelier wen review watch made in china

For the Odyssey model we tested, the dial is the first indication of its Eastern bent. The combination of a white porcelain face, heat-blued hands, and blue indices for hours/minutes reminds me of a Chinese porcelain plate or vase. The small seconds hand sits at the 6 o’clock position, and moves extremely smoothly. I honestly have had to double check myself sometimes to make sure it is indeed moving (it always is), because it’s rotating so smoothly. Around the second hand, we find the characters You酉 (top left) and Mao 卯 (bottom right) in a circle with 5-second markers in a pattern that echoes the 5-minute indices. Because I’m unable to do it justice, I’ll just direct you to Robin from Atelier Wen, who explains these characters in Atelier Wen’s Styleforum Affiliate Thread.

atelier wen review ceramic watch

The Odyssey’s 316L stainless steel case rides on a deep blue lizard-pattern leather band. It’s a bold choice, and perfectly accents the blue and white found on the dial and hands. Sitting inside the case is a Peacock SL3006 automatic movement– a clone of the workhorse ETA 2824-2. The weighted rotor of the movement is absolutely silent, and I observed a -3s/day drift during the time I tested it.

atelier wen review watch

I was surprised by the heft of the Odyssey. While not overly heavy or noticeable on the wrist, when I pick it up in my fingers, it feels substantial. Contributing to this feeling is the high-relief embossing on the caseback.

atelier wen review quality

The Kunpeng (bird-fish) on the caseback is more gorgeous in person than it ever could be in pictures, primarily because it feels amazing to touch. You don’t notice it when wearing on your wrist, but I can’t stop myself from running my fingers over it when putting it on or taking it off. The embossing really pops, and is my favorite feature of the watch.

atelier wen review


Small details set the Atelier Wen apart from its competition. The crown and strap buckle both feature the stylized “Wen” character that Atelier Wen created to represent their company. The case is finished to a high-polished shine everywhere but the top of the lugs, which are brushed. The handset’s bluing is both deep and bright. All of this comes together into a watch that feels like it should cost much more than the Kickstarter’s super-early-bird pricing of $488.

 


Disclaimer: this is not a sponsored post. To read Styleforum’s review policy, please click here.

18 East: A Chat with Antonio Ciongoli About His Travel-Inspired New Project

Antonio likes Italian, but now he wants you to try something Indian. Other options include Japanese, Irish, or North African, because, for him, each place offers something interesting.
We’re chatting in La Cumbre, one of the restaurants in San Francisco that claims to be the birthplace of the Mission-style burrito, and Antonio is all smiles.
“Man, you guys have it good. There’s probably a million places to get Mexican food out here. I love it.”  We’re talking about Antonio’s new project, 18 East, which was born, in part, from his visit to Rajasthan a few years ago. He was struck by the various patterns and silhouettes that, while commonplace there, are relatively unused by Western designers. Inspired by his visit, he designed a handful of clothing for his subsequent collections for Eidos, but it wasn’t enough.
“I loved my time at Eidos, but there was so much I couldn’t do,” he recalls. “For one thing, there are so many artisans all over the world, but with Eidos, I could only use their Italian factories. Not that they weren’t great – their knitwear is simply amazing – but they just can’t recreate what we saw in India. In Jaipur, there are huge indigo fields as far as the eye can see where they hand-dip and then air-dry garments. No factory in Italy can do that.”  
“Besides, the idea of massive two-season collections doesn’t make sense to me,” he continues. “There’s the stuff I’d do for Eidos, and then the exclusives for various vendors, like Barney’s and Bloomingdales – literally hundreds of pieces, all at the same time. Guys aren’t looking for polo coats in September – they’re looking for transitional pieces.” With 18 East, Antonio is able to focus on a few dozen pieces seasonal-appropriate every couple months. “I’d rather do a few unique pieces that I’m really excited about, rather than producing an item just to check off a list.”
While it’s true that the items from this drop are influenced by the textiles he saw in India & Nepal, they are not simple imitations. The next day I go to Unionmade to check out the clothes in person, and I’m impressed with just how wearable everything is. Sure, there’s a uniqueness to them – the hand-blocked prints and intricate woven patches, especially – but nothing is so far out that would make the wearer self-conscious. “I didn’t want to create a line that would alienate people,” Antonio says while sipping a beer at the store. He then points to the corduroy sherpa coat hanging on a mannequin. “Take this jacket, for example. It’s my favorite from the collection. It reminds me of something you’d see at a Vermont head shop.”
18 East "Charlotte" sherpa travel vest and belter corduroy rancher coat.

18 East “Charlotte” sherpa travel vest and belted corduroy rancher coat.

Online, I immediately was drawn to the red pajamas (inspired by Steve McQueen’s character in Bullitt) and made a b-line over to them on the rack.  Unfortunately, photos and words can’t do them justice – they really are special.  In two seconds they were off the rack and bagged at the counter, and I wore them that night.  They’re a little different, but the muted color and repeating kalamkari and bagru patterns provide just the right amount of visual interest, and I’ve found they go well under sweaters and jackets.
18 East "Julian" Vintage pajama created with kalamkari - a traditional block-printing method.

18 East “Julian” Vintage pajama created with kalamkari – a traditional block-printing method.

I also picked up the tie-waist cardigan. Made from a donegal-style yarn of sheep’s wool and yak, Antonio chose to use a basketweave to fashion this kimono-style sweater, giving it an insane amount of depth and texture. “That cardigan was a happy accident,” he recounts as I try it on. “We first made it without the placket, and the ends curled up in a funky way.  Then someone attached this placket from the inside, and it just fell perfectly.”
Prices are reasonable, and the general silhouette of the clothes, while loose, is far from baggy.  As a reference, I’m 5’8” and 160lbs, and I took a small in everything and felt comfortable. This first drop had nominal sizing information on the 18East website (e.g. “This garment is oversized”) and it took me a couple tries to find the best size for me in person. Future collections will have measurements to minimize confusion and help get a better idea of how each garment fits. It’s a departure from his much-beloved suiting at Eidos, and for the time being, Antonio isn’t planning on introducing any tailored clothing at all.
18 East "Hima" chainstitch crewneck and "Nomad" tie waist cardigan.

18 East “Hima” chainstitch crewneck and “Nomad” tie waist cardigan.

“Don’t wear any of these clothes with a tie,” he chuckles. “Matching tops and bottoms, though, that’s something I’d like to explore a little in the future.” He shows me pictures from a photoshoot he did earlier in the week with Marco (@KamoteJoe on the forum) wearing pants and a shirt in matching fabrics. “You see this often in India, and it looks fantastic. You’ll see something like this later on. Don’t get me wrong – an Italian suit is great, but it’s not the only suit there is.”
While it may be an obvious statement that there is wearable fashion everywhere, it’s another thing entirely to incorporate global influences in a way that doesn’t come off as ethnic appropriation. From Antonio’s collections, you get the feeling that if Antonio wasn’t in fashion, he’d be a chef, finding inspiration in local flavors around the world.
“But what is local?” he asks back at the restaurant, and it’s a good question. The Mission burrito, stuffed to cylindrical hugeness with equal amounts of beans, rice, and meat, is undeniably San Franciscan, but has origins elsewhere. Ditto for cioppino, chop suey, sourdough, Irish coffee…the list goes on. Like many international cities, the Bay Area readily embraces foreign tastes and incorporates them often into their dishes, because how boring would it be to eat the same thing over and over again?
“I couldn’t agree more,” Antonio says between bites. “As much as I love the pizza in Napoli, I love Philly pizza just as much. As long as it’s good, does it matter where it comes from?”

Photos courtesy of 18East and Ian Anderson
Discuss 18 East with other Styleforum members on this thread.

Starting a Tie Wardrobe – Styleforum Picks

Starting a tie wardrobe in 2018 can be daunting; with the variety of options that are just one click away, it might be hard to determine whether a tie is going to get some use or will lie in a cedar box untouched for years.

This list was compiled following the directions of some Styleforum members who discussed pretty extensively the merits and versatility of the following ties on this thread.

A starting wardrobe of 12 ties might contain:

  • Two navy solid ties (a grenadine and a repp, for instance)
  • Two other solid ties (i.e. forest green grenadine, a chocolate brown repp)
  • One glen plaid, guncheck, or shepherd’s check tie in black and white or navy and white
  • One houndstooth tie
  • Two pindot ties
  • Two “neat” ties –  small, evenly spaced designs
  • Two repp stripe ties

See below for some great options that will help you complete your tie collection.


Navy solid ties

Yellow Hook $130      •       Kent Wang $75

Solid ties in other colors 

Vanda Fine Clothing $123       •      Yellow Hook $130

Glen plaid / Guncheck / Shepherd’s check ties

Vecchio Anseatico $95      •      Vanda Fine Clothing $123

Houndstooth ties

Drake’s micro houndstooth $195    •      Drake’s puppytooth $185

Pindot ties

Shibumi Firenze $126      •      Vanda Fine Clothing $123

Neat Ties

Spier & MacKay  $35      •      Shibumi Firenze $126

Repp stripe ties

Ralph Lauren  $125     •      Vecchio Anseatico $95

Timex x Todd Snyder Marlin Mesh Watch Review

Once again, Timex and Todd Snyder have released another variant of the reissued 1960’s-style Marlin. With demand for previous versions leading to very limited stock over the past two years, it’s no surprise that Todd Snyder continues to us new variants of the same classic Marlin. This go-round, it’s in a sliver on silver colorway with a Milanese-style mesh band. Nothing else has changed from what we can see, so you’re getting more of the same classic mid-century style that the re-imagined Marlin originally brought to us in 2017.

Photo: Todd Snyder

Timex was kind enough to lend me a Marlin for this review, and I have to say I’m very impressed (and kind of sad to send it back.) Yes, I am a barbarian of a guy with a 7.5” wrist. Yes, the Marlin sports a 34mm case in a day when even a 36mm watch is considered tiny for a guy. Still, it feels and looks right.

Barbarian arms can sometimes be made to look a little more classy.

While light enough to not be noticeable during the day, a thin bezel and a thick, domed acrylic crystal make it feels more substantial than it has any reason to be. Overall thickness is 10mm, which is still within dress watch range, and would fit under a cuff very easily.

It feels thicker than it is. Or so she tells me.

And under a cuff.

Minimal branding, maximum style

The band is very nicely done as well. Easily adjustable, and well-finished, it’s comfortable for the whole day. The Marlin’s minimalist style carries over to the band, with a sans-serif TIMEX on the clasp the most overt branding on the entire watch. I’m guessing it could be easily polished off if you were so inclined.

A sticker on the caseback noted that the hand-wound movement is made in China, which is expected given its price point of ~$200. Somewhat surprisingly, I have observed a +2 seconds/day variance in timing during my testing. It’s also quiet and smooth. You’re not going to notice much ticking with this Timex.

If you’re buying this watch, it’s really for the dial. It’s a gorgeous, slippery silver, with a hint of sunburst radiating out from the center. Reflective silver hands point to Arabic numerals on the even hours that are styled somewhere between Art Deco and Art Nouveau. You can see right away why the updated Marlin has been in and out of stock so often– the details are period correct, and correct, period. At $200, it’s a no-brainer. Buy it.


Disclaimer: this is not a sponsored post. To read Styleforum’s review policy, please click here.

Style Icons: B&Tailor

As I’ve moved forward in my style journey, I find myself looking toward more contemporary dressers for inspiration. There’s nothing wrong with looking at old pictures of Jimmy Stewart or Laurence Fellows illustrations, but the fact remains that those sources are finite!

That’s why I’m drawn to contemporary guys that have a bit of vintage flair, like Bryceland’s. But while they can skew more workwear, the guys at Seoul’s B&Tailor find ways to keep vintage style (across different eras) alive in an elegant and modern way.

B&Tailor and Chad Park were the subjects of one of my first blog posts that covered contemporary style. Stumbling across their account was a big moment for me, as it showed me that there was still a place for high rise trousers, pleats, and wide lapels. Started in 1980 by Jung Yul Park, the brand has already made quite a name for itself, taking fittings all over the world and even creating a casual RTW line called Chadprom, no doubt named after his son Chad. To most of my friends, they are a great source of inspiration and a bit of an aspirational goal for clothing.

It probably helps that Park’s sons Chad and Chang have worked hard to brand the company, with Chad being the face of B&Tailor, expertly shot by Chang for their Tumblr and Instagram profiles. With natural light, somber expression, and fantastic clothing, the pictures rack up engagement on all social media, presenting an almost streetwear-esque way of making clothing look cool. As the brand has grown, they’ve also included more pictures of their other staff, consistently making their associates style icons in their own right. But let’s look at how their style specifically appeals to me.

Like with Brycelands, the vintage appeal comes down to two things: the design of their tailoring and the way they choose their accessories. First, let’s explore the jackets. The jackets are cut with an extended shoulder, featuring a broad chest and nipped waist, echoing the draped figures in the 1930s and 1940s. Of course, this isn’t something new as the English have been doing that for a long time; the real charm is in their lapel treatments.

Their standard notch is quite wide (looks like it approaches over 4 inches), with a notch placed quite low compared to most brands. B&Tailor goes a step further by making the notch’s “mouth” go pretty wide (almost a full 90 degrees) yet without making it go too far into the body of the lapel. The resulting “droopy notch” not only makes the chest appear fuller but it appears to be lifted directly from the detailing on a 30s-40s suit. For their peak lapels, they maintain the width but again place the peak low. While models definitely vary, Chad and the rest of the B&Tailor crew tend to favor a peak that juts out far from the collar, recalling both vintage designs and the treatment favored by Polo Ralph Lauren in its early days. Whether it’s a notch or peak lapel, the lines are accentuated with a slightly lower lowered buttoning stance for a classic look (which is pretty 1940s to me).

The high rise is standard for B&Tailor (a trait that extends to even their Chadprom denim), which is always a sign of classic style. In fact, the rise seems higher than most, appearing to sit a little above the navel. Pleats are also a welcome sight among their tailoring, which when combined with a fuller leg, makes for an “old school” look. Most of the complaints about vintage style usually concern how baggy trousers can look, but luckily B&Tailor ensures that they are expertly tailored, done with a shivering break to prevent pooling at the ankle and a hearty cuff.

While we can talk about the cuts and designs of their suits, the real style comes in how they wear it and how they spruce it up with accessories. If you go on any of their social media platforms, you’ll see that they always prefer long collars, whether it’s pinned, a button-down, or a spread; in general, a longer collar makes for an “older look,” evoking the spearpoint collars. They match their shirts with a variety of great sevenfold ties, in foulards, abstract prints, and colorful stripes. Like I said before, wearing these with a striped shirt brings to mind the styles of the 1930s-1940s where there was a lot of similar styling. The look can be a bit bold for some (especially compared to the minimal approach from Brycelands), but they carry the look with confidence.

They also have a few novelty pieces that I feel are directly lifted from casual 1940s-1950’s styles. One example, in particular, is their Hollywood waist trousers, complete with “dropped loops”. This design, which is essentially a continuous waistband with loops placed fractions of an inch below the top, was a trend in the mid-1940s until the 1950s, worn by young men with extremely thin belts. It strikes me as particularly interesting move since most gentlemen today prefer suspenders or side tabs for keeping their trousers up.

Keeping with this casual vintage design, they’ve also done a few runs of cuban collar shirts, which have been increasingly popular during the past year. While they are technically known as cuban collars to most, I’ve always called them “loop collars” since vintage pieces have the top button fastened via a loop rather than a normal buttonhole cut into the fabric. They wear them their tailoring, which makes for a cool, sartorial-casual look that skews more vintage-inspired due to their fuller cut.

They also have a few idiosyncrasies that make their style unique; at some points, they experimented with multi-stripe vintage fabric, which was the norm back in the Golden Era (flat, plain suits weren’t common). They’ve also created cropped sweaters and jackets that are just begging to be worn with high rise trousers. Their love of turtlenecks even brings to mind some 1960s-1970s inspired looks. A big one is their latest preference for designing DBs that can be rolled to a 6×1 configuration. While these were a trend in the 1930s-1940s, it’s most commonly seen from Armani in 1980s-90s, emphasized further by their bold (power?) tie combos. B&Tailor keeps this vibe going by wearing their high waisted, light wash denim with their tailoring. Who would have thought that the 1980s-90s have a place in classic menswear?

I could keep writing about the observations that I’ve seen from B&Tailor, but the best thing to do is to look at the pictures and see it for yourself. There’s something about this brand that seems old school and yet not anachronistic at all, as they take their cues from different eras and mix them together to create such a unique look not just with the sartorial designs, but with the styling. Even Chad Park’s glasses skip around with different styles. In any case, I think they’re a good source of inspiration, not only for regular wear but for a great indication of making vintage-inspired style look wearable (and elegant) in the modern day.

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Twissic Watches REVIEW

By Nathan Flowers

It’s Really Thin.

Crazy thin. Ridiculously thin.

And I like it.

I don’t normally search out thin watches. I’m usually happy to wear a bigass Seiko diver or even my old G-Shock Mudman when I’m outdoors. But I like this watch a lot. Newcomer Twissic has jumped into the market via their Kickstarter with what may be one of the thinnest watches to make it to market in the past year.

The 316L stainless case is a scant 4.8mm thick at its widest point. The watch itself is relatively thin in diameter, measuring only 38mm, but a large dial and thin bezel make the Twissic ride the wrist like a larger watch. Our loaner units were their Enpointe model, which ride on handsome full-grain leather quick-release straps in an 18mm width.

Everything about the Twissic watches we’ve tested feels minimalistic, but also well-designed. Powered by a Swiss Ronda quartz movement (with a six-year battery life), its hands are small but highly polished and easy to read. The dial comes in an attractive black on the rose gold model, and a clean white on the stainless steel. It’s also water resistant to 3ATM, but you won’t be diving with it. It’s a classier watch, for wearing to work, or out on the town.

I’ve worn them for a solid week, and am most impressed with how lightweight they are. The Twissic seems to just melt into your wrist, and you don’t notice you’re wearing it until you go to take a look at it. I tend to wear my other watches a little loose just to give my wrist space to breathe, but with these, I don’t need to. It sits there waiting, unnoticed until it’s needed, and that’s nice.

Twissic’s Kickstarter page has all the info you’ll need to get your hands on one. You can also check out Styleforum’s Twissic Official Affiliate Thread for more info, or to ask the designers a question about their watches. For the next few days, you can still get in on their £109/$145 super early bird pricing, and to me, it’s a good deal.


This is not a sponsored post. To read Styleforum’s review policy, please click here.

Hoffman Watches – Racing 40 and Diver 40 REVIEW

By Nathan Flowers

These days, it feels like most watchmakers are following the “bigger is better” theme, with both divers and chronographs seeming to start at 42mm, and getting larger from there. With that in mind, newcomer Hoffman Watches is bucking the trend by introducing two 40mm models, which they have been kind enough to loan us for this review.

hoffman watches review

Their Racing 40 model is very handsome and feels solid, but not heavy. It has a 316L stainless case that is polished on the sides, and lugs that are machined satin on the front/back. The black leather strap measures 20mm wide, and has a machined stainless buckle. It fits well on my 7” wrist– not too large, and not too small. The Racing 40 echoes a Daytona or Speedmaster in both looks and proportions.

hoffman watches kickstarter

That said, it is handsome in its own right, and our test model stands out with a reverse panda dial in a lighter navy blue background with white under the sub-registers for the chronograph minutes and 24-hour time. Under an AR-coated sapphire crystal, hour indexes are noted by very precise dots of hand-applied lume that give off a greenish Seiko-like glow. This lume is also applied to the high-polished hour and minute hands.

hoffman watches diver

The chronograph is easy to use, and sweeps at 5 beats per second, faster than a typical quartz second hand. The pushers feel nice and mechanical, and the chronograph instantly resets to zero when you hit the bottom pusher. It’s powered by a Seiko VK64 movement, so you know it’s going to be accurate (and it has been during my testing.) Though Hoffman also offers a mechanical chronograph movement (Seagull TY2901) for an additional $199.

Water resistance is a standard 50M, though since it’s sporting a leather strap with a lizard pattern, it wouldn’t be your first choice to take on your fishing boat. However, it would be right at home when going out for beers with jeans and a button-down, or maybe a blazer in the evening. It’s a bit too much of a tool watch for me to wear with a suit, though as a forum admin and IT nerd, my suit-wearing occasions are sadly lacking these days.

hoffman watches price

Let me get this out of the way now. I am a sucker for diving watches. I dive several times a year and always take 2-3 watches out with me if I’m going to be diving for more than a few days. I also religiously visit Styleforum’s Poor Man’s Watch Thread, and consequently, I own too many Seiko/Citizen divers, like the SKX and the SRP-reissues. The Hoffman Diver 40 is right up my alley.

hoffman watches affordable sports watches

Our review model is really striking, mainly because of how understated it is– black case riding a black NATO with a black bezel and a black dial. This thing is a Stealth Diver on your wrist. The hands and the indexes both are coated in a blue-tinted Super-LumiNova that glows well for hours after charging with light. The quartz movement is silent to my ear, and Hoffman also offers an automatic option for $99. Both offer 100M water resistance, which is more than enough for most diving.

hoffman watches styleforum

The uni-directional bezel rotates smoothly, but with a solidity that you don’t regularly see on watches below $1000. Each click passes with a gentle yet firm snap. On the review model, the bezel is marked with black indexes, and arabic numerals at the 15, 30, and 45 minute spots. The zero index is the source of my only qualm with the Diver 40– it’s a glossy black diamond that doesn’t contain any lume, making it less likely to be seen well in deeper or murky water. This fits in with the darker style of our review model, so it’s definitely a stylistic choice. Hoffman also does have models with a white zero index, which I feel would be more suitable for diving. On land, the Diver 40 definitely wears well on the wrist, feeling less bulky and having a lower profile than your typical SKX/SRP.  It draws the eye without being obnoxious.

hoffman watches color options kickstarter

Hoffman Watches’ Affiliate Thread shows many color combinations to choose from (I’m seriously considering a rose gold navy diver for myself), and with a shockingly low Kickstarter 24-hour super early bird pre-order price of $169 for the Hoffman Watches quartz models, you are getting a lot of watch for the money. Frankly, both of these watches feel like they’re worth much more than you’re paying for, and even at their ultimate retail price of $425, I think you’re getting a great piece of kit at a good price.


This is not sponsored content. To read Styleforum’s review policy, please click here.

The Best Menswear Stores for Shopping in Florence during Pitti Uomo

By Cristina Ferro

Florence is the city where the Italian fashion system was founded. In Florence you can find a world made of highly skilled artisans and their expertise: In fact, its history and traditions made it possible to create the perfect network for an emerging fashion market.
Florence is still a great place for menswear shopping. We have great boutiques and workshops where tradition is at its best. Here’s a selection of menswear boutiques for menswear shopping to visit during Pitti Uomo:

Eredi Chiarini

Let’s start with the most iconic and famous boutique: Eredi Chiarini is a must-visit place for menswear shopping in Florence. As far as I can remember, It’s always been a landmark for gentlemen as well as for young professionals. I remember our dad and older brothers used to buy their garments from Eredi Chiarini when I was a little girl in the 80’s!
This amazing clothing store opened in 1970; shortly after, they began to manufacture jackets, pants, shirts, and suits in line with the style of Italian and British accessories such as ties, bags, umbrellas, hats and shoes that they carry in store.
You can get your tailored garments done at Eredi Chiarini, as they collaborate with the most prestigious Italian tailors and offer a great selection of fabrics.

Address: Via Porta Rossa 33/R Firenze

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Tie Your Tie

Many of you may be familiar with Franco Minucci. He started working in menswear as an agent for some of the most important brands in the early 80’s. Through the years, he developed a personal fashion aesthetic that came to fulfillment with the opening of his own menswear shop, which offers the highest quality merchandise, in 1984.
After Mr. Franco Minucci founded the Tie your Tie Shop in Florence, he established its factory of marvelous artisanal ties. His inspiration for the shop comes from the concept of “beauty and simplicity”, and his values can be found in the details of these gorgeous creations, as well as in the highest quality items selected for his menswear boutique.
Ties are definitely the key player here, especially the “Sette Pieghe”, the original sevenfold ties.
Mr. Minucci says that the inspiration for the Sette Pieghe comes from the colors and designs from mid 19th century fashion. The Sette Pieghe ties were a great success as soon as they were released and still are made by hand using fine cloths provided by world-famous suppliers.

Address: Piazza de’ Rucellai 8r Firenze


Liverano & Liverano

Liverano & Liverano is one of the most important tailoring houses in Florence, as well as one of the few remaining from an era where dressing well was not considered a flair, but rather a requirement for any respectable man. The Liverano brothers’ business started at the end of the 1960’s in Florence, in Santa Maria Novella. Twenty years later, they moved the business to Via de’ Fossi, where it is still located today.
It’s not uncommon to walk inside and find Antonio Liverano in the house, at work at the cutting table. This is what made him one of the most respectful and admired personalities in the modern Florentine tailoring scene.
The Florentine tailoring style is all about slightly extended, soft, and generous shoulder, short jacket bottom, wide chest, low positioned pocket to create a V-shaped jacket whose bottom borders are cut away. This is still Liverano’s signature style.
The Florentine tradition requires a three-button configuration, and in the tailoring house they always remind their clients of the golden rule: with a cutaway style, you need to close only the central button!
In Via de’ Fossi you will find tailors who have worked with Liverano for over 40 years as well as some young, equally skilled ones.

Address: Via de’ Fossi, 43 Firenze


Piero Puliti


Piero Puliti started his career in fashion in Florence, working in the trendiest menswear shops if the 1970’s. After a few years, he started his business as a fashion designer, creating his own prêt-a-porter collections.
Later on, his love for menswear brought him to open a shop of his own in the heart of downtown Florence, not far from the Duomo and Piazza Della Signoria. He still runs a small, marvelous boutique where his creations and his taste and style in decorating spaces are manifest to the visitors; in this small boutique, his vision and creations are crystal clear. Piero is known to be one of the best tiemakers in town.

Address: Via Del Corso 51/R Firenze


Dimitri Villoresi

The leather industry is one of the most important ones in Tuscany; we are very proud of our leather artisans, and some of them stand out for being of a kind in terms of quality and style. Dimitri Villoresi is one of those.
Dimitri runs his workshop in Oltrarno, where he personally stitches his creations. Dimitri’s workshop, DV Bags, is a charming place that is hidden away from the main touristic areas and guided tours.
Dimitri Villoresi can be considered a visionary poet and an artist. He is one of the pioneers in the movement that looks back to true craftsmanship: he only uses the traditional tools of a by-gone era, and none of his creations ever see a sewing machine. His instruments are the cobblers’ knives, awls, scissors, needles, and thread.

The Dimitri Villoresi workshop is also a training center: here, the old art of leatherworking is passed on to the new generations through individual, personalized courses.

My favorite bag is La Sporta, a traditional “shopping bag” suitable for daily use. As Dimitri says, “it is an open container where you just put your things straight in and they stay there”. Such a pure and essential design for men and women alike!

Address: Via dell’Ardiglione 22 Firenze


Marina Calamai

Here’s another designer from team Oltrarno! Marina is an artist who runs a beautiful studio in Oltrarno, in Palazzo Guicciardini, in the heart of the coolest district in Florence. Her handiwork focuses mainly on painting and the creation of amazing pieces of furniture and homeware objects. Through the years, she has taken inspirations from the most diverse fields: food, science, and nature.
Marina also is a skilled goldsmith. If you get to know her, you’ll love her jewelry. And her men’s collections are just as inspiring and creative as the rest of the items you’ll see visiting her atelier.
Her cufflinks remind me of a shackle (perfect for sailing lovers!), physics and its formulas (Quantum teleportation formula), the shape of Santo Spirito church, Nautilus fossils, champagne corks, musical notes (specifically the Chroma), and finally the latest creation: the Bond-inspired shape of a Martini cocktail.
You should visit her studio and experience this connection between fashion, arts, and science!

Address: Via Santo Spirito, 14 Firenze

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Bernardo

If you lived in Florence and you were looking for high quality, timeless, and classic pieces for your wardrobe, you would likely be a regular customer of Bernardo’s, and an acquaintance of Andrea, the owner. I know more than a man who has made of this tiny menswear boutique their #1 choice when it comes to menswear shopping.
Bernardo is a small, charming boutique in Via Porta Rossa, exquisitely piled in 23 square meters or less. In such a tiny space, they manage to carry so many great clothes! The store has existed for over thirty years and it’s known for the excellent selection of brands and the great customer service: clients are cared of and advised by Andrea and his employees.
Bernardo also offers an excellent custom-made tailoring service. Indeed, the most peculiar trait of this boutique is the precision they have when helping a client. This is why gentlemen in Florence have always considered it one of the best places for menswear finds and true Made-in-Italy classic pieces.

Address: Via Porta Rossa 87/r Firenze

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Tacs Casentino

Not far from Bernardo, walking through the streets around via Tornabuoni (the luxury goods shopping street in Florence) you might take a turn and find yourself in a totally different universe. It’s a colorful place that reminds me of wildlife, history, and traditions: it’s the world of TACS Casentino.
You may know that Casentino is a valley located in Eastern Tuscany north of Arezzo. It is famous for its naturalistic beauty, wild forests, Etruscan sites, Romanesque churches, and Medieval castles, as well as for the traditional fabric that takes its name.
The production of the panno casentino started in the mid 19th century, and with time, its manufacturers developed the techniques to give the Casentino fabric its peculiar characteristics: the traditional ricciolo (curl), and the soft hand with an irregular surface.
Originally, Casentino fabric was often dyed in colors we wouldn’t expect to see today; the most typical color was a very bold red. Today, we all know its most iconic colors are bright orange and green, but maybe not everyone knows that these tones were the result of a mistake occurred in the dyeing process!
In this small boutique, you will find every model and color of coats and accessories in Casentino, as well as collections in fustian and cashmere.

Address: Borgo Santi Apostoli 43 R Firenze

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Cristina Ferro is an image consultant based in Florence, Italy. You can visit her official website here.

100 Hands Shirts Review

As soon as Fok saw me, he told me to turn around.
“Drop your bags off, we’ve got an appointment.”
A three-hour flight delay in San Francisco caused me to miss my connecting flight in London, forcing me to spend the night at a local generic Double Hilton Marri-Stay and take the next flight to Milan at 7am the next morning. From there I hopped on a train to Florence, and by the time I arrived at the StyleForum Maker Space, I had been traveling for over 24 hours. All I wanted was a cold drink and a warm bed, but as we were already late to our appointment, off we went.
“Did you bring a camera?” Fok asked as we wove through the cobblestone streets. “We should take pictures. I’m really excited about it. Is this the right street? I thought it was right around the corner…”. Around and around we went until we found ourselves in front of a modern-looking palazzo in a narrow alley. On the doorbell was the name 100 HANDS, written in fine cursive.
“You’re going to like Varvara,” Fok said as he pressed the doorbell. “She’s the sweetest person ever.” And then she opened the door, a petite young woman, with light brown hair parted to one side, greeting us with a kind smile. “Please come in.  We’ve been expecting you.”
Up to this point, I had only seen pictures of 100 Hands’ shirts online, accompanied with interesting, if unclear, descriptions of their construction: threadless and invisible stitching mechanics? What does that even mean?  
Once inside, Varvara introduced us to her husband Akshat, a tall young man from India with curly dark hair and gracious manners. “I’m so sorry,” he began as he shook my hand, “but I’m presently with another client. Please, have a coffee, and Varvara will show you one of our shirts.”
And what shirts they were.
Varvara pulled out what seemed to be an ordinary shirt with a box check pattern, but a closer inspection would reveal much. As an example, the box checks of the shirts line up practically everywhere – collar points, sleeves, shoulders, under the arm, and 360 degrees around the body. There is no way this can be done by a machine, and the result is a marvel to see. 
 
Pattern matching awesomeness (click below to start videos):

Another detail that sets their shirts apart is that instead of simply folding over the bottom of the shirt and running it through a sewing machine, the hem is hand rolled and stitched. The result is not unlike the edges of similarly crafted pocket squares, except the rolls are smaller and the stitching is more dense, making the stitching comparatively discreet; thus the term invisible stitching.
Indeed, the amount of hand stitching per inch is incredible – roughly 25 per inch, about three times than what you’d normally see on a shirt – but what is more striking is the way in which it’s done.  “When a thread breaks, we don’t simply tie a knot and continue,” Varvara explained.  “We pull it out and start all over. This is what we mean when we say threadless stitching. It’s just a single thread along a seam. That way, when you wash your shirt over and over, there is less chance of the shirt coming apart.”
Over a later email conversation, Varvara admitted the market speech can muddy the method. “But we feel the most important aspect of our work is the patience and precision of it.  We do use machines for some steps, but the majority of the undertaking is done by hand, and doing so takes time.” The time-intensive shirtmaking process passes through no less than 50 pairs of hands (thus the name). Simon Crompton of A Permanent Style has written extensively of the superb craftsmanship and exceptional working conditions of the over 100 people who work there. Although the atelier has existed for over 20 years and had made shirts for Savile Row tailors and haute couture maisons in France, the brand itself was established in 2014 and has enjoyed quite a bit of success since then, outgrowing the factory in the city of Amritsar and relocating to the neighboring countryside.
Photos courtesy of 100 Hands

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Another peculiar adornment found on each shirt are what Varvara calls their “one-of-a-kind” buttonholes. Put simply, they are not sewn, but embroidered: fine silk thread is worked around and up to the slice. In contrast, traditionally a slice is made in the fabric and then thread is brought around the cut edges to form a buttonhole. 100 Hands’ decorative method, which takes about 45 minutes per buttonhole, is borrowed from India’s own textile culture. Compared to other makers, the results are much cleaner and far less bulky. Here’s a few pics, plus a link to a 100MB picture Varvara sent me that you can zoom in on for full menswear geek gawking:
Besides being able to choose the collar, fabric, and finishes for a shirt, some may benefit from a custom shirt for a better fit.  For example, most OTR shirts are cut with higher, square shoulders; doing so can accommodate more body types.  The downside to this “democratic fit” is when you have more sloped shoulders, as the excess fabric can bunch in sloppy folds around the chest. Customization and fittings can adjust the pattern for these and other individual peculiarities for a cleaner fit while still being comfortable.
Speaking of customization: in addition to seasonal offerings, 100 Hands has access to nearly 400 fabrics from Italy and Japan, such as Canclini, Monti, Loro Piana, SicTess, Albiata and Albini. There are five different interlinings options for the collar, 12 different types of buttons, and the embroidery initials – sewn by hand – can be done in three different fonts.  Moreover, there are two levels of handwork, the Black and Gold Line. Both have the pattern drawn and cut by hand, handfusing and pattern matching, but the Gold Line contains far more: hand-embroidered buttonholes, handsewn side and bottom seams, shoulder, and sleeve placket.
After describing the work involved in making a shirt, Akshat fit Fok and me for a shirt each. I chose a plain white oxford cloth to go with light tans and blues that I’ll be wearing come warmer weather. Fok chose a denim shirt to wear, I assume, in the rough factory environment of his home office.
After taking our measurements, Akshat brought out prototypes for casual outerwear they have in store for the future, including a field and shirt jacket in slubby navy linen. No word on when these will be available, but I’m excited for the shirt jacket in particular – with a barchetta breast pocket, flapped patch hip pockets, and buttoned sleeves, it makes for a compelling choice when a sport coat might be considered too dressy. Meaning, I’ll probably be wearing it everywhere in California.
L’ora di aperitivo was upon us, so we said our goodbyes to Akshat and Varvara to meet up with Arianna at the StyleForum Makers’ Space. While making a wrong turn or two, Fok reflected on our visit with 100 Hands.
“I never wear dress shirts,” he mused. “I mean, look at me. I’m wearing beat up 18oz denim, a  worn in leather Type 3 jacket over a dirty tee shirt, and old sneakers.”  He paused for a beat, then chuckled to himself. “Those are some amazing shirts. I’m going to find an occasion to wear that shirt,” he vowed.
“Does that mean we’re coming to Pitti next year?” I asked. Fok stopped. “You never take pictures; how are you going to prove you ever wore the shirt?”  
“You make a valid point,” Fok conceded as he began walking again. “I could just buy a camera, but I’d miss the cobblestones and pasta. And cheese. And salame. And…I keep getting lost. Just wait till you see your apartment, it overlooks the Arno. Is this our street? I need a glass of wine…”
Later on, in San Francisco, the shirt arrived neatly packed in a box within a green canvas “suitcase” with a wooden button. I chose a Capri collar, unique in that both the collar and points are constructed in one piece so that it can be worn either buttoned with a tie or casually open. The result is not only one of the best fitting shirts I own (despite all the cannoli and gelato I’d been eating) but also one of the most versatile. For all those times you go from meetings to dining or vice versa, the collar handles both with ease and looks great doing so.  
Unboxing video: 

So much handwork does come at a price – $350 and up – but you’ll be getting more than similarly priced options from better known brands, such as Kiton and Charvet. All three do have a measure of hand stitching, but the sheer amount of intricate, precise handwork of a 100 Hands shirt frankly dwarfs most others and is one of, if not the defining characteristic, something Varvara and Akshat are very proud of. And then there’s longevity.
Mark Boutilier of San Francisco, who wears dress shirts far more often than I do, has had his shirts from 100 Hands for over a year. “I have shirts from various high-end makers,” he says, “and the Black Line not only has finer stitching and finishing, but has held up better after wearing and washing. Others have had stitching come loose, buttons unravelling, but not 100 Hands. I’m really impressed, and would highly recommend anyone to give them a try.” He did lament, however, the lack of availability for their MTM program in the US, which wasn’t available at the time. But that has recently changed.
“People have been requesting our MTM service via Instagram and email,” Varvara relates, “So we decided to begin to tap the US market that way.” My friend Tom was one of the first.
“I contacted Akshat, and he was very accommodating,” he began. “He offered for me to simply send in a good fitting shirt, but I decided that would be too much hassle, and sent him measurements instead. I also sent him photographs, and he was able to diagnose my biggest fit issues stemming from a forward posture.”
And the results? “Quite good for a first attempt,” Tom reports. “They hit the measurement specs perfectly and adjusted for my stance. My guess is that with one more iteration, we’ll be golden.”
Maiden voyage of Tom’s shirt from 100 Hands

Maiden voyage of Tom’s shirt from 100 Hands

While my own shirt seemed fine by my eye, Varvara was able to detect a few problems. “The upper front placket under the collar could use some attention,” she noted. Otherwise, maybe the biceps need slimming? I guess my guns are more like pea shooters.
Currently their showroom is in Amsterdam and while they do trunk shows in various cities (London, Hannover, and Stockholm, to name a few) and their shirts can be found in several shops online and in-store (the Rake and Linnégatan in Sweden, for example), there is presently just one place to see 100 Hands shirts in person in the US, and that is at Carroll & Co in Beverly Hills. Tom and others have had success with the remote MTM program, but since Ill be going back to Florence for Pitti next January, I think I’ll make an appointment to see them in person to catch up. Maybe get another shirt or two.
To contact 100 Hands, email them at info@100hands.nl or varvara@100hands.nl

This is not a sponsored article; to read Styleforum’s review policy, please click here.


MEMORIAL DAY 2018 MENSWEAR SALES LIST

Please note that coupon codes may change throughout the weekend and that we’ll do our best to keep updating them and adding new ones. If you’d like to share a sale that’s not on the list, you may do so in the comment section or on the Official Sales Thread on the forum.

Thank you and happy shopping!


Acrimony: Save 40% off discounted items. Use code: FAREWELL.

Allen Edmonds: up to 40% off on shoes, plus 30% off Woodlore.

Alternative Apparel – 40% off plus 20% off “brands we love” with code URFAMILY

American Trench: 20% off everything with code cookout.

Antonioli: Sales now on up to 50% off. More brands added: Calvin Klein, Off-White & more.

ASOS: 30% off occasionwear.

Baby & Co.: sale on now up to 40% off.

Backcountry: 30% off full price Arc’teryx.

Barneys: up to 40% off designer sale.

Barney’s Warehouse: Up to 85% Off Savings with an extra 50% off designer styles.

Beckett Simonon: any two pairs of shoes for $299 with code MEMORIAL.

Ben Sherman: 30% off with code HONOR.

Bergdorf Goodman: up to 40% off designer sale.

Bloomingdale’s: 20-40% off on regular price items and 40-50% off discounted items labeled “big brown sale”. Loyallists earn $50 every $200 spent.

Bluefly: up to 85% off, plus an additional 20% off on selected items.

Blue & Cream: Flash sale 20% EXTRA OFF sale with code EXTRA20.

Blue In Green: 25% off throughout the weekend.

Braun Hamburg: cashmere sale – 50% off.

Bodega: Use code EXTRA20 at checkout to save an additional 20% on sale items.

Bodileys: 30%off Mayfair and London collection with code BOD30.

Braun-Hamburg: CASHMERE SALE starts now! Summer cashmere reduced up to 50%.

Brooks BrothersMen’s Non-Iron Shirts Mix & Match 4 for $199 (or up to $120 each); Ties 50% off 2 or more.

Burberry: mid-season sale happening now.

Cali Roots: 25% OFF SITEWIDE CALIROOTS 14th ANNIVERSARY DEAL use code BDAY.

Canoe Club: 25% off with MEMORIALDAY25.

Carmina: 20% off a selection with code 20OFFCARMINA and 10% everything with code MEMORIALDAY2018

Club Monaco:25% off any purchase with code WARMWELCOME.

Cobbler Union: drivers and loafers 15% off with code REMEMBER.

Cruvoir: $35 off for $250+ purchase with code CVMAY35; $100 off for $500+ purchase with code CVMAY100; $250 off for $1000+ purchase with code CVMAY250; $550 off for $2000+ purchase with code CVMAY550.

Cultizm: 20% off + free shipping with code 20now.

Dapper Classics: 20% off your entire order with code MW18.

Domestic Domestic: 30% off everything with the code MOON.

Dope Factory: up to 50% off spring collection.

East Dane: Up to 40% off just-added items.

eBay: 15% off orders of $50 or more via coupon code PMEMDAY

Epaulet: Save 30% to 60% for Memorial Day.

Ernest Alexander: 30% off sale items with code MEMORIALDAY.

Farfetch: sale of up to 50% off.

Flannels: Up To 70% Off | The Outlet.

Forward: up to 50% off.

Frances May: Memorial Day sale now on 30% off a selection.

Gant: 20% off everything (automatic) or 30% off full-price at GANT w/code GNT30.

Gilt: 25% menswear and men’s accessories with code 25MAY.

Gitman: 20% off with code SUMMER18.

Golden Fox Footwear: Up to 70% off selected boots, no code required. Ends 05/29.

Great Divide: 20% off with code BANKHOLIDAY.

Franklin & Poe: 20% of everything with the code PARADE18.

Haven shop: Free shipping with code FLSHSHIP.

The Hill Side: 25% Off Everything with code MEMDAY.

Hotoveli: up to 50% off.

Huckberry: sale up to 70% off.

Hudson Sutler:  20% off on The Heritage Commuter Duffel with code DAD20.

Hunting Ensemble:

30% OFF Norse Projects, APC, Astorflex,Our Legacy, New Balance, Nanamica, The North Face and more (excl. sale) with code: VIPPRESALE.

Idol Brooklyn: Use code PRESALE30 at checkout for 30% off SS18 collections.

Independence: 50% off FW ’17 + Free shipping over $100.

Indocino: up to 60% off.

Jachs New York: MEMORIAL DAY SALE 50% OFF WITH CODE MDAY50.

J. Crew:  40% off your purchase including new collection with code GETAWAY.

John Elliott: S/S 18 Sale | Now Live.

Jonathon + Olivia: up to 50% off

Julian Fashion: Sale Season is started: Up to 40% Off.

Kith: sales on shoes and clothing.

Lanvin: Enjoy 50% off the Summer 2018 Collection and free shipping.

Last Call: up to 75% off everything.

LC King: 30% off with code Memorial18.

Levis: Memorial Day sale ongoing – use code MAY30 for 30% off.

L’Inde Le Palais: 50% off on SS18 collections.

LNN-CC: sale up to 40% off.

LOIT:  Sale Starts Now – 30% Off with code LOITMD18

LSG Denim: Sale – selvedge denim for 96.99 usd/125 cad with free shipping to US/Canada till June 9th.

Luisa Via Roma: up to 30% off SS18.

Luxeswap: 40% off shirts (min. 3) with code HOLYSHIRT; 75% off pants (min. 3) with code PANTPARTY; 35% off Ring Jackets with code RINGAROUNDTHEROSY; 50% off waistcoats with code WAISTNOTWANTNOT; 35% off Drake’s ties(min. 2) with code TIEONEON.

MAAS & Stacks: Enjoy a 25% discount on selected items after entering code: MEMORIAL18

Maison Margiela: up to 40% off* the SS18 Collection on the Maison Margiela online store.

Malford of London: 60% off everything plus extra 25% off with code SALE60.

Matches: sale on now for up to 50% off.

Miloh Shop: 20% Off All Denim with promo code “DENIM20“.

Mohawk: BEST OF SALE | 15% off for Memorial Day with code MEMORIAL15OFF.

Need Supply:  Sale! New markdowns up to 40% off.

Neiman Marcus: Up to 40% off designer sale.

Ne.Sense: SS18 Sale 20% Off.

Nitty Gritty: 25% Off on Selected Footwear | A.P.C. Resort Fall Collection.

No Man Walks Alone: 80% off Private Archive Sale.

Nordstrom:  Save up to 40% during Half-Yearly Sale

Nordstrom Rack: extra 25% off clearance items.

Notre-Shop: Additional Markdowns Up to 70% Off.

Nowell’s: 25% off with code MEM25.

Oak Street Bootmakers: $50 off all footwear.

Opening Ceremony: Take an Extra 20% Off All Sale Styles with code OCEXTRA20.

Other Shop: Use code ROYAL25 to take 25% off your order.

Pact Underwear: 20% off $100, 30% off $200, 40% off $300 use code MYSAVINGS.

Popov Leather: 30% off a selection + free shipping with code FATHERSDAY.

Rag & Bone: New Markdowns: Up to 60% Off.

Ralph Lauren30% off select styles with code MEMDAY.

The Real Real: 20% off with code REAL + up to 70% off.

Todd Snyder: 30% off new styles + up to 70% off sale.

Renarts: 40% off all regularly priced apparel, 30% off all regularly priced footwear, up to 80% off clearance, additional 10% sale section with code MDW10.

Roden Gray: Take up to 40% off selected apparel accessories and footwear.

Rooney Shop: Memorial Day sale now ongoing up to 30% off.

Saks 5th Ave.: up to 40% off DESIGNER SALE.

Sartoriale: Memorial Day Storewide SALE – Up to 90% OFF MSRP – Spend More, Save More

Shoes.com: Memorial Day sale 30-75% off + take 25% off with code SPRING 25.

ShopStyle: up to 70% off.

SSense: sale up to 50% off.

StyleBop: extra 20% off all styles applied at checkout.

Tessabit: Up to 50% off sale.

Todd Snyder: 30% off new styles + up to 70% off sale.

Totokaelo: 40% off Maison Margiela, Rick Owens, Comme des Garçons, and more.

Tres Bien: up to 70% off.

Uncle Otis: 20% OFF NEW ARRIVALS with code FLASH20.

Unis: sale on Common Projects.

Union: 30% and 40% off a selection.

Unionmade: take 20% off everything with the code MEMORIAL20.

Uniqlo: Free shipping no minimum order + items added to sale.

Urban Outfitters: sale up to 50% off.

Vince: extra 25% off of sale with code MDAY25.

X of Pentacles: all pocket squares on sale + Styleforum users get 10% off with code SF10.

Yoox:  up to an extra 60% off.

Wrong Weather: SS18 sale up to 30% off

ZFACTORIE: 30-50% off some styles for Memorial Day.